Thursday, January 13, 2005

Here's an article about a school in Massachusetts that seems to be having some trouble in maintaining math scores despite increased funding over the years. This is classic.

So then, after eliminating any potential mitigating factors, what could possibly account for the steady decline in the sixth-grade math MCAS scores?

The only logical and remaining explanation is change that occurred in the Newton math curriculum itself - the subject matter of what is taught and how, what is emphasized and what is not, what has been omitted and what is new. In short, what has changed in the elementary and middle school math curriculum to have affected such a dramatic decline in the MCAS scores?

Answer: the new math curriculum, otherwise known as anti-racist multicultural math.

Between 1999 and 2001, under the direction of Superintendent Young and Assistant Superintendent Wyatt, the math curriculum was redesigned to emphasize "Newton's commitment to active anti-racist education" for the elementary and middle schools. This meant that no longer were division, multiplication, fractions and decimals the first priority for teaching math. For that matter, the teaching of math was no longer the first priority for math teachers, as indicated by the new curriculum guidelines, called benchmarks, which function as the primary instructional guide for teaching math in the Newton Public Schools.

Hmmm. I wonder what the problem could be? What's the black answer to 2x2?


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